The last event planning checklist you will ever need! Download yours for free! Here’s a sneak peek of our Ultimate Event Planning Checklist:
EVENT PLANNING CHECKLIST
5-8 Months Before the Event
- Set goals for your event. What will you achieve by this event, specifically, e.g. generate qualified leads, develop loyal customers for your brand, sell products, raise funds.
- Select a date and venue. Here’s a sample venue request letter.
- Get cost estimates (Space rental, equipment, food & drink, entertainment fees.) and create a budget plan for your event. You can find an example event budget template here event cost spreadsheet here.
- Put together your team! We suggest working with a staffing agency to source all your event staff. Staffing agencies carry insurance to cover their staff, plus you know for certain that the staff will show up. Otherwise, recruit employees and volunteers and ensure they know what they will specifically do to help with the event.
- Designate managers for each set of staff.
- Create a plan for promotions and publicity. Where will you put advertisements? Sell tickets?
- Identify and confirm speakers/presenters/entertainers. You can find a sample speaker outreach letter here.
- Contact potential sponsors. You can find a sample event sponsorship request letter here.
- Determine if you need ticket sale software or event ticketing solutions to make the process easier.
3-4 Months Before the Event
- Finalize your entertainment plan, if any. Communicate with speakers/artists so you know what they’ll be doing at your event when they’ll be doing it, and their goals.
- Finalize travel & accommodation plans for the entertainment, you, and your team.
- Set ticket price/registration fees.
- Create an online registration form on your site.
- If you’ve secured sponsors, reach out to them for specific figures. Finalize goals and thank them. With Sparxo software you can include sponsor shoutouts in the automatic email confirmation pages and on the Sparxo splash page design.
- Analyze your venue, especially any issues with weather or transportation. What could go wrong? Oh, only everything.
- Review security for your event. You want to make sure your customer experience is on point no matter outside forces interfere. Make sure you have protocols for the weather, attendee conflict, illness, etc.
- Arrange all the technical details of your event. This includes your menu, A/V equipment, registration set-up, parking, signage, etc. Here’s a list of technical elements.
- Publicize your event, e.g. ads, your publicist, flyers. Here are 50 ways to market your event in the months before.
- Plan your program (e.g. speaker order, openings, thanks, closing, etc.) Find gorgeous event program templates here, free with Canva.
- Develop publicity pieces, e.g., newsletter articles and/or ads, radio spots, print blog posts articles for submission to other publications and/or ads, etc. Here are the top 12 publicists freelancers on Fiverr and here the top on Upwork.
- Request logos from applicable corporate sponsors for online and printed material. Here’s an article explaining why sponsorship can make or break an event.
- Develop media list & prepare news releases, Backgrounder, and all media kit materials (e.g., speaker info, bios, headshots, photos, etc.)
- Create and promote an event page on your own website.
- Create a Facebook event page, invite all your Facebook friends to like the page for visibility. Here’s a video showing you how to do that. The more people marked going or interested, the greater the event’s visibility.
- Register your event on online event calendars like Loxi, Trumba, and Yelp.
- Create an attendance spreadsheet, keep track of VIP’s or select a technology partner like Sparxo to digitally track your attendees by importing guest lists from other systems.
- Consider and check for any legal barriers for your event. Do you need any special permits? Insurance or licenses?
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